Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Inspiring Ehud

During his recent trip to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the following statement:

“We in the Middle East have followed the American policy in Iraq for a long time, and we are very much impressed and encouraged by the stability which the great operation of America in Iraq brought to the Middle East. We pray and hope that this policy will be fully successful so that this stability which was created for all the moderate countries in the Middle East will continue.”

Embarrassing would be the word. Or delusional. Or sycophantic. Or bizarre. Or perhaps just stupid. The leader of the Jewish state is certainly a canny operator.

Suffice to say, his comments have led to a wave of ridicule (here and here.) Ynetnews commentator Nahum Barnea writes: “The crippled shall help the blind, said our forefathers. The cripple in this analogy is Bush, while the self inflicted blind man is Olmert.”

Olmert and Bush talked about the Iranian “threat” and the various ways to isolate Iran (none of which will work, of course, not least because the US so desperately needs Iranian assistance in Iraq.) The Jerusalem Post clearly wants confrontation with the Iranian regime:

A realism worthy of the name would begin with this basic premise: The refusal to confront and punish aggressive tyrants will not result in their moderation but in the opposite – more terrorism, greater threats, and a less free and more unstable world. We hope that Bush does not need Olmert to remind him of this, and that our prime minister’s confidence is better placed than meets the eye.

The Israeli establishment may be talking up the need to deal militarily with Iran – and guess whose protection it would need if such an attack occurred? – but how likely is it? Time magazine’s Tony Karon fears the worst:

Olmert and company have long been doing a hard sell on the idea that any enrichment of uranium in Iran somehow constitutes an intolerable menace to Israel — that’s a pretty bizarre benchmark, of course, one that is certain to get Israel into a disastrous war with much of the region (and it ought to have learned by its misadventure in Lebanon last summer that elective wars could actually prove to be a more dangerous threat to Israel’s survival than are the doings of Iran’s nuclear scientists). But Olmert insists that Iranian enrichment leads inexorably to a nuclear-armed Hizballah!

Karon writes that the “Likud lobby is going to work hard to start a war with Iran in the lame duck years of the Bush Administration.”

I share his conclusions. The utter failure of the Iraq mission seems not to have dimmed the desires of militant Zionists to wage perpetual war in the Middle East. The Diaspora Jewish community remains mute against the forces so determined to bomb/invade/nuke Iran. After all, in their view, they’re only Iranians, and Jews are the chosen people.

The Zionist lobby will continue to demand aggression against the Islamic state, no matter the costs to Israel, the region, the world and the Iranian people. They are addicted to the notion that Israel can survive forever if it bombs its way to success. Unfortunately, Israel’s position in the Middle East is more precarious than ever. Opening negotiations with Iran are essential to at least determine a way forward.

21st century Zionism has morphed into an ideology that only knows expansion, occupation, degradation and invasion. This may appeal to the radical, frightened fringes of the Jewish community, but the rest of the world – away from the UK, US and Australian governments – simply see an immoral and belligerent state with little to offer other than never-ending aggression. The nearly 40-year occupation and recent war in Lebanon now defines the Jewish state for much of the world. How do Jews feel about the fact that, according to this Haaretz report, “During the second Lebanon war, Israel made use of American-made cluster bombs that left behind thousands of unexploded bomblets, even though Israel Military Industries produces cluster bombs that leave nearly no unexploded munitions.”

Israel’s long-term future requires making friends in the region, not guaranteeing more enemies. What happens when the US starts to disengage from the Middle East? Who will Israel turn to then? India? China? It’s a question that most Zionists haven’t the foresight to even consider.

UPDATE: Speaking of the insidious, radical Zionist lobby

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